Fifty years after the founding of the PLO, journalist Anat Saragusti talks about the first interview Yasser Arafat gave to an Israeli media outlet, looking for the real story in Beirut under siege, and the importance of pushing the limits of society’s comfort zone. By Anat Saragusti This story can go in a number of directions. It can be a story about war, or about different world views, it can be a political story or a societal one, and it is of course, first and foremost a journalistic story. For me, it’s all of those things together. It was the beginning…Read More... | 8 Comments
Raviv Drucker, a prominent journalist who co-hosts a well-known television magazine program on Channel 10, wrote a tough blog post in which he takes some of Israel's best known journalists to task for presenting a completely erroneous interpretation of the Palestinian position regarding a negotiated agreement for a two-state solution. I have translated his post with permission. By Raviv Drucker Ari Shavit has written another one of his fabulous treatises in his exemplary prose style that is, as his articles often are, completely detached from the facts. According to Shavit, Mahmoud Abbas is an intransigent negotiator who fails every time he…Read More... | 17 Comments
Could the Jewish state ever be lead by a class of non-military politicians? Until there is a peace agreement with the Palestinians, it seems unlikely. And even then, who knows? By Thomas G. Mitchell Historically there have been two types of Israeli leaders who have been willing to give up territory to the Arabs in exchange for peace. The first type consists of conservative civilian politicians who distrust and fear the Arabs, but who, because of foreign pressure or opportunity, are willing to make peace under the right circumstances. Examples of these are Golda Meir in 1974, Menahem Begin in 1977-79 with…Read More... | 12 Comments
Mandela's statements about Begin on the one hand and Arafat on the other should make just about everyone uncomfortable. In Chapter 42 of his autobiography "Long Walk to Freedom," Nelson Mandela describes how, in 1961, he began forming the African National Congress' (ANC) military wing to launch guerrilla attacks on the apartheid regime. "I, who had never been a soldier, who had never fought in battle, who had never fired a gun at an enemy, had been given the task of starting an army. ... I began in the only way I knew how, by reading and talking to experts." Mandela…Read More... | 16 Comments
Nine years on, Yasser Arafat's death brings up more questions than answers. Speculation runs rampant as to the nature of his death, while the potential for a scientifically conclusive cause of death, let alone the identity of a possible perpetrator, fades away. By Marian Houk In "Killing Arafat," a recent Al-Jazeera documentary on the mysterious death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, former Palestinian Foreign Minister (and Arafat's nephew) Nasser al-Qidwa says that there is a reason why no autopsy had been conducted on the venerated PLO chairman. According to al-Qidwa, the Palestinians "would have seen with their own eyes a…Read More... | 3 Comments
Veteran Israeli negotiator Shaul Arieli discusses the failure of the Oslo Accords, various Israeli prime ministers' commitment (or lack thereof) to ending the occupation, and the only solution he believes both sides could live with, however unsatisfied they might be with it. Shaul Arieli is a man on a dual mission: educating Israelis about the conflict and diplomatic process with the Palestinians, and making the point that the two-state solution is both possible and necessary. His latest publication in Hebrew, A Border between Us and You (Yeditoth Ahronoth Books 2013), is a 500-page handbook to the history of the conflict, with an emphasis on…Read More... | 32 Comments
This week's publication of a U.S.-funded study cleared the Palestinians of charges that their schoolbooks 'demonize' Israel. This was not, however, the first hoop they've been made to jump through, and it won't be the last. The Israeli and U.S. Jewish establishment reaction to the terrible news that the Palestinians don't demonize Jews in their textbooks reminded me of the long-forgotten uproar over the Palestinian Covenant. Same bullshit. The stout-hearted nationalist Jews in the U.S. and Israel were saying in unison, "How can we ever trust the Palestinians to make peace when their covenant talks about ''liberating all of Palestine'?"…Read More... | 10 Comments
Hundreds of thousands of supporters of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement turned out for an anniversary rally in the Gaza Strip. It is the first such celebration that Hamas officials in Gaza have allowed since the two factions split nearly six years ago. It was a sea of yellow in the streets of Gaza City, as thousands upon thousands of Palestinian supporters of Fatah came out to mark the organization's 48th anniversary. And, for the first time in more than half a decade, were allowed to display that support publicly. Fatah's yellow flags are a rarity in Gaza nowadays.…Read More... | 4 Comments
The defense minister symbolizes the 21st-century failure of the Israeli 'warrior for peace.' Ehud Barak, who announced his retirement from politics today, said a couple of very brave things in his political career. "If I were a Palestinian at the right age, I would have joined one of the terrorist organizations at a certain stage," he said early on. A couple of years ago he said: "If, and as long as between the Jordan and the sea, there is only one political entity, named Israel, it will end up being either non-Jewish or non-democratic... If the Palestinians vote in elections,…Read More... | 4 Comments
2011 is drawing to a close and it has been a year full of expectation and suspense regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I admit that I thought it was a year in which significant things might change. But after a weekend trip to some of the hottest spots in the hot spot, I reflected that a few things may always remain stable. Both sides have dreams that will probably not be fulfilled. Both sides have elements - people - who seek a maximalist position. The dreams of those extremes are ultimately likely to be foiled by reality. Despite the asymmetry of…Read More... | 5 Comments
The Palestine Papers show that Palestinian negotiators ran out of cards a long time ago, writes this despairing Palestinian commentator By Shadi P. Around 1,600 documents about the Palestinian- Israeli secret negotiations have leaked so far. Unfortunately, we do not have any photos of the meetings. Some Palestinians were anxious to see photos because they thought that the Palestinian Authority team could not have been seated at a round table during the negotiations, but rather they were bending over all the time and had sticks pressed hard in their backs by the Israeli team. That’s why they made concessions - …Read More... | 5 Comments
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